Benchmark revision of national accounts in 2019

In line with European-level recommendations, the national accounts will be subject to a benchmark revision in 2019. This revision, which is part of the normal and customary procedures for improving the national accounts, is being carried out in most European countries. It will be introduced in Belgium on 18 October 2019, to coincide with the publication of the detailed annual accounts. The other Belgian national accounts statistics will be adapted later, under the normal publication schedule.

Benchmark revisions are more important than ordinary revisions, making it possible, more or less once every five years, to use new sources or methods in the compilation estimates used for establishing the national accounts. The objective is to improve the quality of the statistics produced and to incorporate some more structural economic developments. Particular attention is also paid to consistency between the national accounts and balance of payments data.

Benchmark revisions can have an impact on GDP, as well as on other economic indicators that are calculated from the accounts. As far as possible and in order to ensure consistency between the statistical time series, revisions must be made for all variables from the reference year of 1995 onwards. Further details about the revision policy can be found here.

The methodological points subject to review will be covered in more specific documentation when the national accounts are released in October. For the time being, the revision’s impact on the level of GDP or on any of the other aggregates cannot be revealed.